My September 2015 returns – down, respectably

I’ve just totted up my invested portfolio’s returns in September. The bad news: I’m down 1.1%.  The good news: the markets I’m in fell 1.6% on a weighted average basis.

I’ve plotted below the returns of each of my major asset types (geography vs equity/fixed income) for September.  Equities fell by 2-3% in UK/International/Australia – though not in the USA.  Half my portfolio is UK Equities, where the market fell by almost 3% this month.  Fixed Income assets were generally up – a classic case of uncorrelated behaviour between equities and bonds – which helped my overall portfolio return significantly.  If I’d had purely passive exposure I’d have had the weighted average return of about -1.6% for the month.

FIREvLondon benchmark returns 1509

In this context my actual return of -1.1% is fine by me. I’m not sure that my outperformance is luck, my genius, or my market benchmarking not fully allowing for dividends – of which my portfolio received a bunch in September as it is the quarterly payout month for both iShares and Vanguard.

As ever, I’m buying – trying where possible to rebalance to USA Equity which remains below its target allocation.

Is this format helpful/clear?  Any suggestions for how I could improve it? Please leave me comments below.

7 Comments on “My September 2015 returns – down, respectably”

  1. Interesting your trying to rebalance into a higher proportion of US Equity – doesn’t the exchange rate just kill you right now? I really resent the US$ being so high against the £!!! I am wanting to buy into some US stocks in a second SIPP account, but just can’t bring myself to do it, even though there are bargains available, I am too tight about this exchange rate… aaaaa

    Liked by 1 person

    • @TV – I think the ‘normal’ range of £:$ is between £1:$1.5 and £1:$1.6. We’re in that range right now.

      And the US stocks I’m buying have large (typically 50%+) non-USA sales, which diversifies/hedges the position too.

      Which means, no, the exchange rate doesn’t bother me right now. Should it?


      • As i type, the taste is $1.5181 per £1, but you don’t actually get that when you exchange. You’ll typically lose 4 cents (maybe more) and then your broker will charge an fx fee on top, so you’ll be getting more like $1.45 per £1 – for me, that is too low to consider buying US stocks


      • Most of my USA exposure is through two brokers where I lose much less than 4 cents (one of whom, amazingly, charged commissions of under $5 for the last two trades). I do have one broker where you are right but I take the view that as I plan never to sell then the 4 cents is amortisable over several years.

        What slows me down further is that I don’t put USA investments into my ISAs or SIPPs.


      • It’s great you’ve got a broker where you can get a cheap deal. Who do you use? I used to use TradeKing, but they now don’t accept foreign accounts for some inexplicable reason. They were dirt cheap.


      • The main one is Interactive Brokers. You can deposit funds in GBP, EUR, USD, CHF etc. And you can trade foreign exchange at market rates (via a very confusing interface, I concede).

        Liked by 1 person

      • but if it has the functionality… it’s probably worth it


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